The Philharmonic Winds has been flying the Singapore flag high in a wide range of international arena, embarking on regular international tours. These include performance tours, international competitions, as well as invitations to present our music at prestigious wind band festivals.
Hong Kong International Band Fair (Hong Kong)
The Philharmonic Winds, together with our youth wing, Philharmonic Youth Winds, were invited to represent Singapore at the Hong Kong International Band Fair (HKIBF) from 30 July to 3 August 2014.
Our involvement at the HKIBF included a performance in the Gala Concert, led by Music Director Leonard Tan, and Principal Guest Conductor Dr Timothy Reynish. In the Gala Concert, we showcased Sarabande, a work by Dr Kelly Tang, one of Singapore’s foremost composers and a Cultural Medallion recipient. The Philharmonic Winds was also invited to serve as the official wind orchestra-in-residence for a conducting masterclass by Maestro Reynish.
Certamen Internacional de Bandas de Música – Ciudad de Valencia (Valencia, Spain)
On 18 July 2013, The Philharmonic Winds participated in the 127th edition of the International Wind Band Contest held in the City of Valencia, clinching Second Prize under the baton of Maestro Timothy Reynish. We were honoured to be the first Asian wind orchestra to be invited to take part in this contest, and were awed by the deep traditions and heritage associated with it. Besides winning the prize, The Philharmonic Winds also won over the hearts and minds of the audience at the 1,600-seat Palau de la Música with its spirited performance. Many people in the audience gave rave reviews of the orchestra’s performance, coming up to the musicians to offer their congratulations.
Besides taking part in the contest, The Philharmonic Winds also performed together and formed lasting friendships with musicians from two Spanish wind orchestras – the Symphonic Band of Centre Artistic Músical (CAM) de Bétera and the Symphonic Band Asociación Músico Cultural “La Lira” de Pozuelo. On 20 July 2013, the three bands held a joint concert as part of the I Festival Internacional de Bandes de Música Ciutat de Bétera (Inaugural International Band Festival of the City of Bétera), organised by the Municipal Council of Bétera at the Auditori de la Casa de la Cultura at Bétera.
The Philharmonic Winds also played a part in deepening diplomatic ties between Singapore and Spain, forming firm friendships with the people from the City of Bétera, including the Mayor of Bétera, who hosted the wind orchestra to a warm reception at the City Council and presented members with the City’s medals.
World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference (Chiayi, Taiwan)
The annual WASBE Conference, held in various cities throughout the world, is arguably the highest-profile gathering of big names in the wind orchestra world. The Philharmonic Winds was honoured to have been selected from a competitive review process to perform at the 15th WASBE Conference in Chiayi, Taiwan, which coincided with the 20th Chiayi City International Band Festival. Led by Music Director Dr Leonard Tan, together with Principal Guest Conductor Dr Timothy Reynish, The Philharmonic Winds presented a full-length concert, to rave reviews from some of the finest professionals in the field. This included a showcase of two commissions by The Philharmonic Winds: Krakatoa by the prolific Singaporean conductor-composer, Wong Kah Chun and the world premiere of Marco Polo – The Cathay Years by award-winning Spanish composer, Luis Serrano Alarcon. In particular, Marco Polo – The Cathay Years was specially commissioned for The Philharmonic Winds’ participation at the 15th WASBE Conference.
Led by Dr Reynish, The Philharmonic Winds also contributed to the conference by presenting a Repertoire Session which introduced new repertoire to the delegates who were mainly band directors from different parts of the world.
Japan Band Clinic (Hamamatsu, Japan)
Given the tremendous respect for the high quality of Japanese wind orchestra music throughout the world, The Philharmonic Winds was thrilled to have been invited to perform at the 40th anniversary of the Japan Band Clinic, widely considered to be Japan’s most prestigious annual gathering of wind musicians. Led by esteemed American guest conductor, Dr John Boyd, The Philharmonic Winds was also the only foreign wind orchestra to perform at the Clinic.
World Music Contest (Kerkrade, The Netherlands)
Just 5 years since its inception in 2000, The Philharmonic Winds set its sight on benchmarking itself against the very best in the world at the 15th World Music Contest, and was awarded a Gold Medal with Distinction in the First Division. Led by Founding Artistic Director, Dr Robert Casteels, The Philharmonic Winds achieved a high score of 91.75, becoming the first (and till today, the only) Singaporean wind orchestra to clinch a Distinction in the First Division of this popular worldwide contest, as well as the top-ranking Asian representative in the Division.